The History Of LomoChrome - Short Read
By Paul McKay
We often get asked about Lomography's LomoChrome range and why there is always such a buzz around the name. Put simply LomoChrome is a "sub-brand" that has come in and out of Lomo's range over the past few years - often attached to different colours - and each wave is enthusiastically snapped up by film photographers. So what's it about and how did it come into life? Over to the Lomography experts...
What is Lomography LomoChrome?
Lomography is all about experimentation. From our first camera, the LC-A+ we have pushed the boundaries of conventional film photography, giving photographers a platform to make, create and experiment.
When we began the LomoChrome journey, we wanted to create new, exciting films that give photographers the chance to achieve incredible results without the need for in-depth darkroom knowledge, expensive equipment or being a wiz on Photoshop.
The start: LomoChrome Purple
Our first film developed in this series was the LomoChrome Purple. Inspired by the Kodak Aerochrome which was discontinued well over a decade ago, the LomoChrome Purple gives a similar, Infrared colour spectrum to your film but can be processed using C41 chemicals - making it much easier to develop. LomoChrome Purple was first released in 2013 after lots of research, testing and lots of trial and error. We kept the ‘chrome’ in the name as a nod to the Aerochrome despite it usually being associated with slide film.
Kodak Aerochrome - image (c) nik gaffney
The response was incredible, people were amazed with the results and the ease of getting such incredible effects from a C41 film.
Lomography LomoChrome Purple
This is when Lomography knew we had to keep pushing ahead with the Lomochrome family and introduced Lomochrome Turquoise in 2015
Things get funkier: LomoChrome Turquoise
LomoChrome Turquoise is another totally unique formula that created cobalt blue hues within the image. Warm colours became blue, blue became golden and green turned emerald. During its first development the film was codenamed Smurf due to the colour skin tones became so cartoon blue! LomoChrome Turquoise was launched in 2015 with limited quantities and sold out very quickly. We get asked about bringing this film back all the time and so who knows what the future holds…
After the success of LomoChrome Turquoise we re-released the LomoChrome Purple in 2017 and then again earlier in 2019. In the 2019 edition we extended the ISO range to 100-400 which gives increased sensitivity to red hues, improved exposure at 400 and less grain. Demand for the Lomochrome Purple continues to exceed expectations but we are hoping to keep this film as part of the Lomography core range just as long as we can keep up with the demand!
The next evolution: LomoChrome Metropolis
The next edition to the LomoChrome family is Metropolis, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in August of this year (thanks everyone.) LomoChrome Metropolis is our most ambitious film yet and it took years of product development and testing to get it right but we are super happy with the results. Metropolis is the first colour negative film in over 5 years and pays homage to the mother of all colours - black!
This high contrast film has an extended ISO range similar to the LomoChrome Purple giving you more control and mutes down your colours whilst keeping the contrast high. After reaching over $100,000 on Kickstarter in just over 3 days we began production of this film and really can’t wait to get this into your hands in 2020! If you missed out on the Kickstarter you can still preorder this film on the Lomography website and get it first - maybe a bit sooner than you’d expect ;-)
So what’s next for the LomoChrome series? Well that bits a secret I’m afraid, but we are ALWAYS experimenting with new bold ideas so you’ll just have to see what we come up with.
Update: our blog post for the launch of Lomography Metropolis can be found here!
Thank you Lomography for the summary!
You might also like reading: 'The Ultimate Guide to Lomography Film' to learn how LomoChrome fits into the full Lomography film range.
Happy Shooting! Paul
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